Stagebox Photography | Blog

Here I am in my happy place - set up ready to photograph the dress rehearsal of Royal New Zealand Ballet's Sleeping Beauty 2020.  Alongside photographer, Stephen A'Court and videographer, Jeremy Brick.

Never thought it would seem so unusual and special to be back in my old home of, the Grand 'Ol Dame, the Opera House Wellington, where I worked for 12 years. But this year has taught us to never take anything for granted!

The season of Royal New Zealand Ballet's Sleeping Beauty is now well underway. It's their last night tonight in Wellie and then they're off on tour Aotearoa New Zealand. Counting our blessings that we have live performances in New Zealand now.

BTW this is a cell phone photo not a Canon 5DIII photo.  Just needed to clarify that in case of doubt haha..

So how does photographing a dress rehearsal for a ballet work? 
Well, you have to be approved by the relevant ballet / dance company and all of your images have to be approved by the Artistic Director before they can be used. 

Stagebox Photography | Blog

I'm absolutely stoked to be running this 'Everyone’s a Photographer Until M (manual)!'  Photography Workshop at Across the Bridge Arts Festival Bannockburn 2020 on

Sunday 4 Oct 2020, 9am – 3pm, Coronation Hall, Hall Road, Bannockburn, Central Otago 
$95 per person

Book here: SOLD OUT


Got a fancy camera that’s still in Auto or Program? Still using your phone because you don’t know how to use your camera? Want to take your photography up a notch and create eye catching or artistic photographs rather than snapshots? This workshop is all about stepping up your photography by understanding and using the manual controls on your camera

Gibbston Valley Lodge wedding

"It only took one simple sentence to reduce this middle-aged scribe to a blubbering mess, “you should get married in New Zealand, I honestly think it’s for the best”."

Can you organise a wedding in 3 weeks? - you sure can!

I got a call from Alan to say that he and his partner wanted to get married at Gibbston Valley Lodge. "Fabulous and congratulations" I said "When?" "In 3 weeks time - can it be done?". "Absolutely - as long as you can get the licence - it can and will be done".
And so followed a busy and exciting 3 weeks of organising paperwork, location, schedule, clothes.

And what a day we had! Following days of cold and snow clouds with more of the same forecast, the sun magically and unexpectedly came out and warmed hearts, bones and smiles. After a seriously comprehensive morning of wine tasting with Gibbston Valley Winemaker, Matt Swirtz, the happy couple said their 'I Do's' on the lawn with Zelia, from Gibbston Valley Lodge and I as witnesses. Then off for a relaxed fun trip round the vineyard, wine cave and local secret spots for romantic photos.

I love an intimate wedding. So personal, so special. Thanks for asking me - I loved every minute.
Venue: Gibbston Valley Lodge
Celebrant: Andrew Bell
Photographer: Celia Walmsley, Stagebox Photography
Gibbston Valley Lodge stars: Zelia Horrell, Andrew

Check out the story by Alan Granville on today's www.Stuff.co.nz


With plans for a wedding in Ireland scuppered by Covid, Alan Granville decides on a new location for his nuptials.
Check out Gibbston Valley Lodge

Stagebox Photography | Blog

I've taken the Pride Pledge to show publicly that I support all people who love each other and who wish to marry and spend their lives together. The Pride Pledge is an initiative to increase visibility, inclusion and safety for LGBTTQ+ people in our community. We are already a diverse and tolerant country - now is the time to make that tolerance visible and to celebrate our pride as an inclusive community.
Even though I've lived and worked for most of my careers in environments where LGBTTQ+ people are welcome, safe and play key roles, including hotel industry (my first career) and the arts, dance and theatre (my more recent careers), I have also worked in environments where this is, sadly, not the case. So it is important to me to show support publicly for all LGBTTQ+ people.
So many of the weddings I photograph are for same sex couples. The love and joy and warmth of these weddings is so special and precious and is often heightened because of the journey the couple may have had to take to get to the point of being able to marry. I am always honoured and blessed when couples choose me as their photographer. Choosing your photographer is a big decision - I'm with you all day and the photographs I create are your lasting memory of your special day.
I wish we lived in a world where Pride Pledge wasn't needed, where all people are accepted, safe and welcomed for who they are. But sadly we don't and so it is important to say 'I support Pride Pledge'.

Check out Pride Pledge

Queenstown rainbow wedding capital


Queenstown will host what is believed to be the country's first rainbow wedding expo to re stimulate the resort's economy.

Plans for this year's Queenstown Winter Pride Festival have been unveiled which include trumpeting the town as the rainbow wedding capital.

Winter Pride Festival event director Martin King said the inaugural expo on September 3 at the Novotel would showcase Queenstown as a wedding destination for the LGBT+ community.

Read all about it here by Jo McKenzie McLean


Stagebox Photography | Blog

So amidst all the other world shaking stories, the Sony World Photography Awards have been announced...

I especially love Hsien-Pang Hsieh's work for his image titled Hurry, featuring a street performer who appears to be walking quickly but is in fact standing still. Fits right into my interest of Still/Moving and the relationship of still photography to movement and dance. Hsien-Pang Hsieh, from Taiwan, won The Youth Photographer of the Year award.



And Portraiture winner Cesar Dezfuli's work in photographing people rescued from a rubber boat drifting in the Mediterranean Sea for the series Passengers.

"The boat had departed some hours prior from Libya. In an attempt to give a human face to this event, I photographed the passengers minutes after their rescue. Their faces, their looks, the marks on their bodies all reflected the mood and physical state they were in after a journey that had already marked their lives forever."